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The research groups Organic Contaminants and Landscape Ecohydrology in the Department of Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry of IGB in Berlin (Friedrichshagen) invite applications for a 3-year PhD position starting from 01.03.2024 (or soon thereafter). The PhD position is part of the Leibniz Collaborative Excellence project “Pollution in urban ponds, eco-evolutionary dynamics and ecosystem resilience” (POUNDER) funded by the Leibniz Association and will be located in Berlin-Friedrichshagen at Lake Müggelsee. The overall goal of the POUNDER project is to assess the importance of urban ponds as nature-based solutions to manage climate-related hydrologic risks, while promoting biodiversity and human well-being in cities. POUNDER is an inter- and transdisciplinary project and involves partners from Berlin, Stechlin, Potsdam, Hannover, and the University of Iowa, USA.

The aim of this PhD position is to quantify spatio-temporal dynamics of pollutants in urban ponds and to link the urban hydrology to the chemical status of ponds along urbanization gradients in Berlin. We will use an integrated tracer approach that combines the analyses of organic contaminants (e.g., biocides, flame retardants, vehicle-related contaminants) indicative of different urban pollution sources with the analyses of stable water isotopes to assess dominant water sources and pathways of the ponds.

We seek a dynamic scientist who is highly motivated to conduct a PhD joining existing interdisciplinary and international science teams. The research will combine field sampling of urban ponds in Berlin, laboratory sample preparation and chemical and isotopic analytics, as well as data evaluation, geographic information systems analysis and statistical analysis. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to interact with scientists from different institutions and to establish a broad network within and outside of academia. IGB provides an attractive working environment and has excellent equipment, technical support, and provides a PhD programme for PhD candidates. The successful candidate should be willing to conduct own field work and have expertise in statistical analysis. Expertise in water pollutants and / or water isotopes would be advantageous.

Your tasks

  • Field work and sampling of urban ponds
  • Laboratory sample preparation and integrated analysis of trace organic contaminants and stable water isotopes
  • Processing of existing data and statistical analyses including e.g., end-member mixing analyses or PCA
  • Participation in an outdoor mesocosm experiment to assess the impact of pollution on aquatic organisms
  • Writing of manuscripts for submission to international peer-reviewed journals
  • Further result dissemination through presentations at national and international conferences

Your profile

  • Master (or equivalent) degree in environmental chemistry, hydrology, environmental sciences, geoecology, geochemistry, or a related field
  • Practical experiences with field sampling and laboratory work
  • Experience in statistical analysis is a bonus
  • Experience with chemical analytics is a bonus
  • Very good English skills including scientific writing
  • Dedicated person with a collaborative team-spirit and good communication skills

Our offer

We offer an interesting position in an international and dynamic scientific environment. We foster flat hierarchies and active participation.

The position is intended for full-time doctoral research for 3 years and is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector (TVöD Bund, 65% of E13, subject to the provision of funds).

We foster your career development by providing qualification and training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life. Qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply. The IGB is committed to diversity. We welcome every qualified application, regardless of sex and gender, origin, nationality, religion, belief, health and disabilities, age or sexual orientation. Disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application by 31.12.2023 including a 1-page motivation letter, CV (with publication list if applicable), master and other relevant certificates, as well as contact information of 2-3 referees. Please state the job reference number 60/2023 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at

Questions can be directed to Stephanie Spahr by e-mail (


"Research for the future of our freshwaters" is the mission of IGB – Germany’s largest and one of the leading international centres for freshwater research. In order to investigate different aspects of freshwater ecosystems, their biota and societal relevance, we unit a wide range of disciplines and understand research as a joint effort. With more than 350 employees and guests from all over the world, we conduct research at five locations in Berlin and at Lake Stechlin (Brandenburg). IGB is a member of the German Leibniz Association and the Forschungsverbund Berlin e. V.